The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 f“This month (NISAN) shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.
14 “This day shall be tfor you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as austatute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
29 oAt midnight the pLord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, qfrom the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was ra great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.
40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of d430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a enight of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.
51 And on that very day the mLord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their nhosts.
Have you already broken your New Year's resolution to diet?
That seems like a strange opening to the selected passages out of Exodus 12. But I do think that it is interesting that the Hebrew calendar starts the New Year closer to Spring. (March/April depending on lunar cycle and adjustments).
January is a terrible time to start a diet. You have cold weather and other issues (including NFL playoffs and Superbowl). My most successful attempt to lose significant weight was when I waited until April to push the eating plan.
The better weather is added incentive to pick up body metabolism. Spring is life....winter is death.
So what in the world does that comment have to do with Exodus 12?
Sometimes God does things so significant in one's life or the world that even the calendar is changed.
We should never give in to the pressure to adopt BCE (before common era) in place of BC (Before Christ) and ACE (After Common Era) in place of AD (Anno Domini "in the year of our Lord).
This is what the Passover will come to be for the Israelites: an event so significant that it will be marked with change and somber celebration for centuries to follow.
God uses the reality of space/time/history to reveal Himself. Creation declares the glory of the Creator 24-7.
But God also invades space/time/history in such a way that the ordinary is suspended and He performs supernatural acts. And everything is interrupted and changed.... permanently
We will have much more time to contemplate the Passover in future blog posts- but I wanted us to see again the references to calendar and time in the passage.
A SPECIAL MONTH- THE MONTH OF BEGINNING
Just look at the significance of Nisan in Jewish history. According to Jewish tradition:
Abraham, Issaac, and Jacob were born and they died in the month of Nisan
Spies Helped by Rahab in Nisan- 7 Nisan 1273 BC
Miriam's death- 10 Nisan 1274 BC
Crossing the Jordan-10 Nisan 1273 BC
Haman's decree-13 Nisan 523 BC
The Exodus- 15 of Nisan 1313 BC
The End of Manna- 16 Nisan 1273 BC
Ester before the King- 16 Nisan 523 BC
Death of Joshua- 26 Nisan 1245 BC
Conquest of Jericho-28 Nisan 1273 BC
AND OF COURSE - We will mark Good Friday and Easter in this precious month.
MARK THE NEW BEGINNING- THE CHANGE- SLAVE TO FREE- DEATH TO LIFE
God tells Moses- this month will be the first of the year for you. There is some debate whether this actually signifies a change in the Jewish calendar- but the application is clear. "I am about to do something that will forever be marked as a new beginning."
For Christ followers, the same is true. We do blow out candles to rejoice in our physical birth. But it is also significant that many point to a spiritual birthday. In fact, I think it is healthy to study conversion and principles of sanctification and then evaluate your life in a way to pinpoint a conversion. I t may not be an exact moment, but it would be beneficial to search out and commemorate a time where you passed form death to life. That is a huge moment- a new beginning!
Write that day in your Bible and mark the time each year as you pass it!
I do have to laugh as a counter point- an answer given by a Calvinist friend of mine. When you ask him when he was saved he answers: 'Before the foundation of the earth' ( Ephesians 1:4). So for him, I'm saying when did he believe he responded to the effective call of God's spirit in repentance and faith.
In verse 14, God tells Moses that this day will become a Holy Memorial Day- and Jews and Christians observe this historic occasion to this day ( more on this later).
WHEN GOD ACTS- IT IS DECISIVE AND SWIFT
At midnight- The Angel of Death strikes. When God says Go- there is no delay.
There will be a day when the Lord will say, No More Delay, and the door of mercy in His Son will be forever closed. What is keeping you from deciding for Him now while there is time. The clock is ticking- your heart is a drum beat to eternity.
THE DAYS ARE NUMBERED
Exodus 12 points out exact timing of entry and exits. Hebrews says 'it is appointed once for man to die'.
What special days are marked in your life?
My prayer is that salvation and new birth is noted and beneficial in your walk of faith.